I started by googling 'friend definition' just because I was curious as to the what the actual official definition would be. According to 'the free dicitonary' is it 1. A person whom one knows, likes, and trusts; 2. A person whom one knows; an acquaintance; 3. A person with whom one is allied in a struggle or cause; a comrade; 4. One who supports, sympathizes with, or patronizes a group, cause, or movement: friends of the clean air movement; 5. Friend A member of the Society of Friends; a Quaker.
I know, this is starting off sounding like some kind of high school paper or church talk, but I only include that definition because I want to emphasize that the word 'friend' can have a lot of definitions and a lot of different intensities.
I have a known a lot of people in my life, and by the above set of definitions, I would call most of them friends. According to facebook I have 532 friends. Obviously those aren't all people that I see and spend time with on a day to day basis or anything like that, but they are all people that I have met and felt some sort of affiliation with at some point or another. I always hear about people culling their friends list down, but I don't do that because ... well mostly I am too lazy. Haha. But also because I feel like I added them all for one reason or another and removing them just seems silly.
But, way back in the days before facebook, when I was growing up (I know - it seems like forever ago to me too) I still had friends. A lot. In fact, some that I almost forget about now because it was like a different world. I was recently home for Christmas and I was going through a bunch of old papers and stuff that I have in a drawer somewhere (and I promise Mom, someday I will go through and get rid of stuff, not just look at it and then put it all back) and it reminded me of friendships that I had completely forgotten about, and friendships that were more important at the time than I remember. And it got me to thinking about how friendships seem to wax and wane like the moon, and how that is okay. Every person I have been friends with in my life have served some sort of purpose - all have helped me grow and learn in some way.
I am glad of this. There are times I wonder how I have any friends at all. And then I remember that it is because of who I am, and I am who I am partly because of the people who are in my life and the experiences I have had with them. I think back to when I was in elementary school and I remember how obnoxious I was and I am very thankful that I lived in a small town where there weren't many other people so the kids were friends with me whether or not they liked me - either because they were forced to by their parents, or because they felt bad for me, or because they knew that if they didn't hang out with me they themselves would be bored - whatever the reason I am glad they did it and I was shaped a lot by those early friendships.
Over the next month I am going to go through and talk about different friends I have had over the years who have influenced me in my life, either when I was young or as I got older, and how those friends have changed me for the better. And they have all changed me for the better and I hope, however minutely, I have done the same for them.
*Disclaimer: The following posts are all going to be pretty personal, but I will only be using people's first names for protection of the innocent ... or maybe just so that you can't go look them all up and stalk them. Either way. Also, any events that are related are purely how I remember things and from my own point of view so if you think I got it wrong you can state your opinion and then just suck it up - this is my blog, I will post the truth according to me :D